WIFI4EU – Connecting Communities
From 2018 to 2021, the EU will provide funding of approx. €120 million to local governments across Europe to help deliver free public WiFi services for citizens. High-quality WiFi will be provided in both indoor and outdoor public spaces and other community buildings under the WiFi4EU initiative. The funding will be used to purchase and install state-of-the-art WiFi equipment and local governments will fund operating costs, maintenance and customer support services.
Several AISCF members have been awarded funding to install or upgrade public or community WiFi services as part of the recent WiFi4EU funding call. The Department of Rural and Community Development will match the funding from the European Commission, doubling the value of the investment in public WiFi networks.
In early 2020 open tenders were published to find a WiFi provider that will work with the councils to install, operate and manage the WiFi services.
WiFi4EU aims to give communities better internet access, improving digital literacy and complementing other public services provided in the locations selected. A wide range of potential locations will be explored, including libraries, parks, community centres and youth services, bringing much needed connectivity and helping to bridge the digital divide.